1% Better S3,

Neale Fenn – Talent, Self-Belief, and Leadership Principles – EP099

March 13, 2019

Neale Fenn is currently the Manager of Longford Town Football Club. He is an ex-Tottenham, Cork City, Bohemians, Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers striker to mention a few of his clubs.

We recorded this on a few months back, on the lead up to Christmas in fact, in the off-season and dived into Neale’s career, lessons learned during that period, and also talked in detail about his move into football management.

As a Longfordian, it was a great treat to chat with Neale, even if he is a Spurs fan.

We covered a lot in the hour and it was a great learning and insight into how Neale has been developing as a manager.

Topics discuss during the show include:

  • Not having Management as part of his plan when playing
  • Starting Coaching Badges toward the end of his career
  • Assistant Manager Role with Layton Orient igniting an interest in Management
  • Crisis Management in the role & having a low expectation
  • Early Career & Big Breaks
  • Ambitions growing up as Spurs and Enfield supporter
  • Playing Organized football at Under 11s
  • Scouted by Spurs and managing to keep moving up the ages with Spurs
  • Absorbing football & practicing non-stop – love playing football
  • Starting to stand out more as he moved up grades
  • Having natural talent and more ability
  • Confidence from playing well
  • Having a belief in his own ability & knowing a great performance was in his own hands
  • Leaving school at 16 after being offered the 2 year apprenticeship and know this was what he wanted to do
  • Scoring goals and getting to the FA youth cup final
  • Pressure having a positive impact on performance
  • Learning from Les Ferdinand, Teddy Sheringham and Gary Mabbutt
  • Memories of a first team debut against Man united at Old Trafford in 1997
  • Contacted by Agents and getting boot deals thrown at him afterward
  • The Dream Contract – signing a 5-year deal with Gerry Francis
  • Dealing with an injury and keeping positive
  • Playing for Ireland was a no brainer
  • Regrets? Yes, many
  • Becoming a training ground footballer so looking for new opportunities
  • A new start with Peterborough
  • Football is just a job? The love of the game always there
  • Dealing with the mental side of the game while out of the team
  • Moving to the League of Ireland – A surprise move?
  • Making a big impact in the 3 years in Cork
  • From Dundalk to retirement to Shamrock Rovers
  • First ever interview for the Longford Town FC job
  • Pithing for the job and waiting for the news!
  • Leadership & Management Styles:
    • Playing the way he wanted them to play!
    • Motivating players and balancing expectations
  • Creating a philosophy that he believed in and where this came from
  • Bending the approach when needed
  • Balancing winning & possession football
  • Learning from last season – trying to win every game
  • Developing Patience and waiting for the right opportunity
  • Challenges with recruitment, part-time football, facilities
  • Approaches for preparation – video analysis once per week
  • Qualities in other leaders?
    • Pat Dolan – knowledge of everyone as a standout
    • Pat Fenlon & Damian Richardson – determination
    • Michael O’Neil – having the same view of the game
  • Learning from others but making your own decision in the end
  • The Book recommendation:

Contact Neale:

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